Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts

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What does the Bible say about Spiritual Gifts?

1 Corinthians 12:1 NLT
1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this.
There are many spiritual gifts and the primary way you will learn what they are is to get involved in different types of ministry. A lot of people try to figure out their gifts then get into ministry, but that doesn’t work.
As you do ministry, you will discover what you are gifted at.
You won’t discover your gifts by just going through a list.

What is a spiritual gift?

A spiritual gift is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at their conversion, to be used to minister to others and therefore build up the body of Christ.
It’s different than a talent.

The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

1. Not for my benefit, but for the benefit of others.

SG are always for the benefit of others...
1 Peter 4:10 TEV
10 Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.
1 Corinthians 12:7 The Living Bible
7 The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
Contrary to what some people teach, Spiritual Gifts are not meant to bless or benefit you. They are given to you to serve and bless others… to bless the church.

2. To produce maturity and harmony in your church family.

Ephesians 4:11–14 TEV
11 It was he who “gave gifts”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13 And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. 14 Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent.
Probably all of us know someone who has been pulled away from the truth of the Christian faith. Why is that? Because people around them were not using their spiritual gifts to help them grow and become stable. When you use the gifts God has given you, it produces maturity and stability.

Ten Truths about Spiritual Gifts

1. Only believers have spiritual gifts

1 Corinthians 2:14 TEV
14 Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God’s Spirit. Such people really do not understand them; they are nonsense to them, because their value can be judged only on a spiritual basis.

2. Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift.

1 Corinthians 7:7 NIV
7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

3. No one receives all of the gifts.

Think about it, if people received all of the gifts, we would not need each other. But God places us into his body. We need each other.
1 Corinthians 12:27–28 NIV
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.

4. No single gift is given to everyone

1 Corinthians 12:29–30 NLT
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!
We do however believe that everyone, when they are filled with the HS, receives a prayer language to pray in the spirit.

5. You can’t earn a spiritual gift.

Ephesians 4:7 NIV
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
You don’t earn gifts… a gift is something that’s given.

6. The Holy Spirit decides what gifts I receive.

1 Corinthians 12:11 NLT
11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

7. The gifts I am given are permanent.

Romans 11:29 NIV
29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.

8. I am to develop the gifts that God gives me.

1 Timothy 4:14 AMP
14 Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination].
When you’re given a gift, it’s given in seed form. It needs to grow. It is just like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. The more you use your spiritual gift, the stronger it will get. One of the gifts God has given me is the gift of encouragement, and it comes out in my preaching. I like to encourage people. The more that I use it, the better I get at it. It develops. I’m to develop the gifts God gives me.

9. It’s a sin waste the gifts God gives me.

1 Corinthians 4:2 The Living Bible
2 Now the most important thing about a servant is that he does just what his master tells him to.

10. Using my gifts honors God and expands me.

John 15:8 ESV
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Cautions about Spiritual Gifts

Gifts are not to be confused with natural abilities.

Good at sales is a vocational skill.

Gifts are not to be confused with the Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22–23 NLT
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Fruit shows my maturity
Gifts sho my ministry

Gifts are not to be confused with Christian Roles.

You might be teaching a class, but not have the gift of teaching…

Be aware of the gift projection tendency.

This is where we expect others to serve like we do and have the same type of results.
This is real common and it causes a lot of difficulty in the church, expecting other people to serve in the way you do and have similar results. For example, people with the gift of mercy expect everybody else to be just as merciful. People with the gift of prophecy—they’re the confronters. They come up and say, “That’s wrong!” and they expect everybody else to be just as confrontive. When you get a person with mercy and a person with prophecy in the same Bible Study group, expect sparks because they’re going to tend to project onto other people. People with the gift of administration expect everybody else to be organized.
It’s natural. So you’ve got to be careful not to project on other people. People with the gift of evangelism—it seems like every plane they get onto, somebody gets saved. They bring 3,000 people to church. It’s natural. They just have an ability to share Christ with other people. And it makes everybody else feel guilty! They say, “How come I don’t see that many people come to Christ?” There are different gifts and abilities and you should not project your gift onto somebody else.

Our gifts do not make us superior to others.

1 Corinthians 12:21 NLT
21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

Realize that using my gifts without love is worthless.

Paul wrote a whole chapter on this...
1 Corinthians 13:1–3 NLT
1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Recognize that you have both primary and secondary ministry in your church

You may be needed to help in an area that is not where you have a spiritual gift or that you are not shaped for … but you serve there because it’s needed. It’s your secondary ministry.
How do you know the difference?

How to tell the difference

My primary ministry commitment should be in the area I am gifted or shaped for.
My secondary ministry commitment includes serving in any other area of the body where I am needed.
Titus 3:14 NLT
14 Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.
If someone needs help, you can’t say, it’s not my gift to go help… you go help.
Just as you are gifted to be a minister in a primary area, God expects us to manifest all the gifts just as roles. In other words, some people have the gift of giving, the ability to make money and give it away. That’s their gift. That does not excuse all the rest of us from giving. I don’t have the gift of giving, but I’m called to give simply because I’m a Christian. All of us are called to teach in different situations or settings. All of us are called to be leaders in different settings and situations. All of us are called at times to give a word of encouragement. You say, “It’s not my gift, therefore I never encourage anybody.” (One lady said, “I have the gift of criticism.” Listen “I’m sorry, but that’s not in the Bible. It’s not a spiritual gift.”)
So the secondary ministries mean I’m just willing to serve, to help out when I’m needed. If I’m needed to set up chairs I can’t say, “That’s not my gift.” I just go set up chairs because I’m a servant of Christ, and Jesus said, “He that wants to be great learns to be a servant of all.” If I’m asked to lead a Small group, I’ll help out, not because I’m gifted there, but it’s a secondary ministry—it’s not my primary role. But I’m willing to do that because of my maturity.
We will continue this in two weeks...
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